PR December 2006

August 16, 2010

Features

Early in my career I learned the following from a businessman: "What appears to be the slow way is the fast way." It took a couple of years for this to really sink in. The temptation today is to find a short cut to do everything we do. In many ways, this is practical and good. For example, innovation over the years such as nail guns, e-mail, CAD and other business software have sped...

I've received more than a few e-mails from remodelers who sent us Remodeler of the Year entries asking how we select the winner. Their question was whether small- or medium-size companies could compete for the award against larger companies. The answer is yes. We base our selection on which company we feel has done the best job of improving its business practices in the most areas.

Jacuzzis. Saunas. Granite countertops. These may be your client's idea of comfort and quality in a bathroom remodel, but the fancy extras can't make up for what's in the walls and under the floor — where comfort and quality truly begin. The basics A drafty bathroom is an uncomfortable one.

Shortly after Josh Baker and Larry Weinberg founded BOWA Builders in 1988, they had a vision that their small remodeling company could grow into something big if they kept their focus on integrity, customer service and continual improvement, among other things. Almost 19 years later, the company that produced $300,000 in revenue that first year will pull in roughly $38 million in 2006 with a ne...

In typical earthquake-country fashion, a run-down old farmhouse sparked a big shakeup in Mountain View. Alward Construction had the task of putting everything back in order. A Stanford University professor bought the property in May 2001, intending to replace the 1904 house with an accessible new one for his 30-something son, who uses a wheelchair.

Remodeling contractors with more than $1 million in annual revenue accounted for more than 57 percent of the industry's annual billings, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies' tabulations of 2002 census data. Only 12.1 percent of the country's remodeling firms generated more than $1 million per year, however, and they employed just 41 percent of the industry's manpo...

Homeowners at this Philomath, Ore., remodel knew they wanted to integrate the kitchen into the family room and came to Powell Construction with a clear vision, designer Deborah Flaming says. Students at the nearby university had studied the house for a project and offered the homeowners ideas to fix the spatial relationships of their home and create more natural, obvious transiti...

Downtown Des Moines has seen a resurgence in recent years as residents move back to the riverfront that anchors Iowa's capital city. The new homeowners are looking for historic ambience combined with the modern conveniences of central city living. This three-story brick walk-up was saved from demolition more than 10 years ago by the local neighborhood association, which converted th...

The topic for this month's discussion may seem elementary but actually is much more complex: what's the best way to get paid for your remodeling services? Our participants, Lynne and Jeff, give some valuable insight as to how they manage their payment schedule. Tom: Jeff, I'm going to start with you.

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